Fixtures - Top Bar

Mark Atkinson insists there is no need to panic at Gloucester Rugby

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Mark Atkinson is the first to admit that Gloucester Rugby have made a disappointing start to the season but the centre insists no-one at Kingsholm is hitting the panic button just yet.

The Cherry & Whites return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action this weekend when they host Wasps at Kingsholm.

David Humphreys’ side have not won at home in the league all season and have only won one of their first seven in all to sit tenth in the table but have been boosted this week by the capture of Carl Fearns ahead of next season.

But life does not get much easier for them this campaign as they face the league’s top two sides in Wasps and Saracens over the next two consecutive weekends.

But after surrendering late leads against both Exeter Chiefs and Northampton Saints in recent weeks in the league, 26-year-old Atkinson insists his side are not a million miles away.

“It’s been a tough start to the season, and not what we wanted,” said the former Bedford Blue.

“But the last two weeks off for a lot of us has been great, we have had a big training and fitness focus.

“It has been a fresh start and hopefully we can build on some of the positives we have had so far this season.

“We are feeling good about a lot of things, the results have not fallen our way in the last few minutes against both Exeter and Northampton – we were in contention in both and fell away.

“We have had two drawn games as well so that is a few wins we have lost rather than that other teams have earned, but we take full responsibility for that and know that we have to be better.

“We know we are not too far away; there is no need to panic and try and change everything. Small details here and there is all it needs.”

Defensive intensity has been a big work on for Humphreys’ side in recent weeks – with marked improvements in their draw with the Chiefs and narrow loss at Franklin’s Gardens.

Atkinson has appeared in six of Gloucester’s seven league games so far as Humphreys has battled injury problems to try and select a consistent midfield alongside the likes of Billy Twelvetrees, Matt Scott and James Hook.

But Atkinson insists squad rotation has not been a problem for his side – who are itching to set the record straight and claim a big scalp in Wasps this weekend.

“It’s not from lack of trying; the last couple of results against two of the bigger sides show that we have been giving it everything,” he added.

“It does not get any easier, the top two sides in succession, but it’s a great chance to play them both. Everyone is feeling fresh, so if we were going to pick a time this would probably be it.

“Sarries and Wasps have players away, but they just seem to replace internationals with internationals so the squad will not give much away – it might look like an advantage but we will see.

“Back to back wins in this league and you rocket up the table, back to back losses and you’re under pressure and having one of the worst seasons.

“It is unrelenting in Aviva Premiership Rugby so we have to try not to listen to outside noise and stay focused as a squad on what we do.

“You struggle to find weaknesses with Wasps, but we have hopefully found some areas to exploit.”

Latest News

England U20 Six Nations Squad Update

England Under 20 have made four changes to their 32-man Elite Player Squad (EPS) ahead of the 2017 Six Nations.…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Robbie Fruean eager to make up for lost time at Bath Rugby

Robbie Fruean has spent long enough waiting in the wings and now that his Bath Rugby career is up and…

Robbie Fruean

Henry Thomas signs new three-year deal with Bath Rugby

Tighthead prop Henry Thomas has signed a new three-year contract with Bath Rugby, the Club are very pleased to announce…

Henry Thomas

The Anglo-Welsh Cup is back!

Click here for tickets to the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final on 19 March LAST year was one to remember for rugby…

161031_premrug_aw_newheroes_online_1920x1080

Ed Slater suspended after club disciplinary hearing

Leicester Tigers have suspended forward Ed Slater from playing for two weeks following an internal disciplinary hearing. Following a citing,…

Ed Slater

Will Spencer backs Worcester Warriors for Anglo-Welsh Cup run

Lock Will Spencer claims Worcester Warriors will be pulling no punches when they return to Anglo-Welsh Cup duty against Harlequins…

Will Spencer has played six times for Worcester Warriors this season

Owen Farrell leads the way in Europe

No one has more points in the European Rugby Champions Cup than Owen Farrell after the Saracens fly-half was exceptional…

Owen Farrell kicked five points in Saracens victory over Toulon

Bristol Grammar School To Host Land Rover Cup

Bristol Rugby Community Foundation’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup will be held at Bristol Grammar School’s Sports Ground on Clevedon…

Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup

Saints and supporters help raise even more money for Royal British Legion

Northampton Saints and its supporters have a long track record of getting behind the country’s servicemen and women. This has…

Saints and supporters help raise even more money for Royal British Legion

Saracens to face Glasgow Warriors – Mark McCall reaction

Defending champions Saracens will face Glasgow Warriors at Allianz Park in the quarter final stages of the European Rugby Champions…

Mark McCall

How the European Rugby Champions Cup semi-finals draw works

Following confirmation of the Champions Cup quarter-final line-up, the 2016/17 semi-final pairings will be as follows: Semi-final 1 - winner…

championscup17sb1111

Carlo Festuccia to re-join Wasps for remainder of season

Former Italy, Wasps and Zebre hooker, Carlo Festuccia, has re-joined Wasps on a short-term contract until the end of the…

Carlo Festuccia

Aviva Premiership Rugby European round-up: Wasps make quarter-finals

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was far from overawed by his side’s performance in Italy, despite a 41-27 success…

PARMA, ITALY - JANUARY 21:  Christian Wade  of Wasps scores a fourth try during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Zebre Rugby and Wasps at  Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on January 21, 2017 in Parma, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)

How the Challenge Cup semi-final draw works

If you've always struggled to work out how the semi-final draw of the European Challenge Cup works then look no…

GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Lewis Ludlow of Gloucester scores his team's first try of the game during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Gloucester Rugby and Bayonne on January 21, 2017 in Gloucester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final draw

Reigning champions Saracens have earned a home quarter-final against Glasgow Warriors in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals after topping Pool…

JameHakellWapCa14B1005

European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final draw

Group winners Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby will both be at home in their European Challenge Cup quarter-finals after topping…

BATH, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 21: Anthony Watson of Bath Rugby goes over for his sides third try during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Bath Rugby and Pau at the Recreation Ground on January 21, 2017 in Bath, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Big displays see Saracens, Gloucester Rugby and Bath Rugby progress

Mark McCall believes his Saracens side delivered a “coming of age” performance after a dogged 10-3 victory over Toulon guaranteed…

BARNET, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21:  Chris Ashton of Saracens scores the first try during the European Rugby Champions Cup between Saracens and RC Toulon at Allianz Park on January 21, 2017 in Barnet, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

European round-up: Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints did captain Lee Dickson proud on Friday night despite suffering a 26-17 defeat at the hands of Montpellier…

BARNET, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Lee Dickson of Northampton passes the ball during the Aviva Premiership match between Saracens and Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on September 17, 2016 in Barnet, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Concussion Management Review Group Update – Sale Sharks

The joint RFU/Premiership Rugby Concussion Management Review Group met following the referral of the untoward incident involving Sale Sharks’ player…

PremRugbyBallsSngle

Matt Hopper: Harlequins ready for Stade Francais cup final

Harlequins are gearing up for a ‘cup final’ when they visit France in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, but centre…

Harlequins v Saracens - Aviva Premiership